Controversies in the management of hypothyroidism during pregnancy

Phillip E. Patton, Mary H. Samuels, Rosen Trinidad, Aaron B. Caughey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE: In the last 3 years, we have witnessed the publication of multiple but conflicting guidelines on the management of hypothyroidism during pregnancy. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common endocrinopathies in reproductive-age and pregnant women. Given the prevalence of thyroid disease, it is highly likely that obstetricians will encounter and provide care for pregnant women with thyroid disease. Therefore, a review of current guidelines and management options is clinically relevant. OBJECTIVES: Our goals are to review the changes in thyroid function during pregnancy, the options for testing for thyroid disease, the different categories of thyroid dysfunction and surveillance strategies among subspecialty societies, and the obstetric hazards associated with thyroid dysfunction and review the evidence for benefit of treatment options for thyroid disease. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We reviewed key subspecialty guidelines, as well as current and ongoing studies focused on the treatment of hypothyroidism during pregnancy. RESULTS: There are significant differences in the identification and management of thyroid disease during pregnancy among subspecialists. We present our recommendations based on the available evidence. RELEVANCE: Evidence exists that obstetricians struggle with the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. According to recent surveys, the management of hypothyroidism during pregnancy is the number 1 endocrine topic of interest for obstetricians. A synopsis of recently published subspecialty guidelines is timely. CONCLUSIONS: Recent, evidence-based findings indicate that obstetricians should consider modifying their approach to the identification and treatment of thyroid disease during pregnancy. TARGET AUDIENCE: Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After completing this CME activity, physicians should be better able to identify the changes in thyroid function testing during pregnancy; choose the appropriate methods of testing thyroid function during the first, second, and third trimesters; and compare treatment options of the various forms of thyroid dysfunction and the evidence behind treatment recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-358
Number of pages13
JournalObstetrical and Gynecological Survey
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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